Print Edition - 2014-05-15 | MONEY
Rising four-wheeler sales point to market rebound
May 14, 2014-
Registration of four-wheelers recorded a sharp rise in the first eight months of the current fiscal year pointing to a rebound in the light passenger vehicles segment.
As per the Department of Transport Management (DoTM), 7,389 vehicles under the car/jeep/van category were registered during the review period. The figure amounted to 9,595 in the whole of fiscal 2012-13. With four months left for the financial year to end, vehicle registration is expected to surpass the previous year’s figure based on current trends.
Automobile dealers said that auto sales jumped during the period mid-March to May due to the launching of schemes on the occasion of the Nepali New Year. “The fou-r-wheeler segment has been witnessing a notable growth this fiscal year,” said Shekhar Golchha, president of the Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada). “Middle-income people are buying cars in increasing numbers.”
According to Golchha, the major reason behind the growth in car sales is easier auto loans. Banks are offering auto loans at around 9 percent interest per annum which has encouraged people to buy vehicles. “Due to excess liquidity, banks have slashed interest rates on auto loans and simplified borrowing procedures,” said Golchha. Banks were charging up to 13-14 percent interest during the same period last year.
Major automobile dealers said they had witnessed a handsome growth in car sales. “Sales picked up during Dashain and the momentum has continued so far,” said Rupesh Sharma Bhatta, assistant general manager at Laxmi Intercontinental, the sole authorised distributor of Hyundai vehicles in Nepal.
According to Bhatta, they are seeing an increase in sales due to first time buyers and existing car owners upgrading to higher models. The domestic market is seeing a significant rise in sales of cars priced up to Rs 3 million.
Likewise, Sunil Chhetri, deputy general manager at Go Ford, the sole authorised distributor of Ford vehicles in Nepal, said that sales of compact cars and mid-level SUVs had swelled. “The Ford EcoSport has been selling very well as it has been priced competitively despite being an SUV,” said Chhetri, adding sales have been equally impressive outside the valley.
While Kathmandu used to be the largest market for four-wheelers till two-three years ago, sales in large cities like Pokhara, Biratnagar, Dharan, Itahari, Narayanghat, Butwal and Nepalgunj have been growing significantly. According to automobile dealers, sales outside the Kathmandu valley now account for 40 percent of their total sales.
Published: 15-05-2014 10:09